I’m a typical kid. Just turned 15. I’m getting ready to enter 10th grade, I’ve got my learner’s permit, I like shooting hoops, and this is my experience with losing and finding hope as an adoptee.

My Beginning

Seven years ago, I was a confused and scared little boy. Even though I had lost all that I had ever known, I hadn’t lost hope that my mom would somehow change. I always thought she’d come back for me. But she didn’t. She just dropped out of my life.

Hopping from one foster home to another, it didn’t take long for me to lose hope. Eventually, I was put in a long-term children’s home. I didn’t really care when my social worker told me someone wanted to adopt me. I didn’t believe that anyone actually wanted me. The prospective adoptive father didn’t even know me—how could he want me? What if we went through the whole process of adoption and it turned out to be just another foster home?

Meeting My Dad: A Dream Come True

The day came, early in the spring, when the man was supposed to pick me up. But he didn’t come. The spark of hope I had hidden inside me disappeared. Even when my social worker told me he was just late (stuck in traffic) and was still coming, I couldn’t let myself believe it. Why wouldn’t he let me down? Everyone else had.

So, I went to the gym to shoot some hoops. This day would be just like any other day.

Then they told me he was here—my new dad. My stomach felt sick. I didn’t want to meet him. I was so afraid that he wouldn’t want me after he saw me, but I obediently walked in and there he was. He was tall and had a beard. I went over to him and gave him a hug. We talked and smiled, and some of my nervousness began to leave. He was a nice man after all.

We spent the rest of that day together, and I went home with him the next day. He was easy to talk to—he made my fears disappear. This was what I wanted now.

Three Years Later: Renewed Hope

That man truly became my father. It is like I have been with him forever. And I have brothers; he adopted them too. We have lots of fun, even though Dad gets on us about homework and chores sometimes.

My dad has shown me how a real dad should be. He can be tough as nails, yet I’ve learned to trust and love him because he is kind and funny. We do lots of neat stuff. We’ve been all over the American West together. With all of us together, there is never a dull moment.

Learning to Trust

I’ve put Dad through some tough tests. He passed them all, but I had to see if he really wanted me. After one particularly rough time, I told Dad that I was sorry for making it so hard on him and tried to explain that I just had to know.

He looked at me, smiled, and said, “Son, if you are going to test me, why don’t you just write it down on paper and let me pass it that way? If you will, it will save me from stripping a gear and having gray hair.” My dad is the best.

Today I am 15 years old, have done well in school, play the trumpet, and am in honor band. And I have a family. My family has grown to include six brothers. From my dad, I have learned how to dream and hope for the future, but the most important lesson I’ve learned is this:

Never give up hope!